Govt looking at improving farm security
Cape Town - The government is looking at the possibility of a more comprehensive security strategy for farmers and farm workers, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Thursday.
"Government is particularly concerned about the safety of our rural communities, especially our farm owners," she told a media briefing at Parliament.
"We have consistently said that one death is a death too many, and we will leave no stone unturned until we have really come to grips with the problem."
The government had met with organised agriculture and continued to do so.
"We are investigating the possibility of partnering with Agri Security on unfolding a more comprehensive security strategy for farmers and farm workers, as well as farm dwellers," she said.
The economic sectors and employment cluster of ministers was working with the safety cluster to enforce and implement the integrated and comprehensive security plan, which encompassed aspects of rural safety.
Breakdown in relationships
"Our evidence is increasingly showing that where there is a breakdown in the relationship between farm owners and farm workers, we do have a proportional number of crime-related incidences which is inevitably the result of a breakdown in relationships.
"So we're working on the relationships as well as implementation of labour regulations and the protective environments for labour tenants," Joemat-Pettersson said.
Speaking at the same briefing, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said a very constructive engagement with Agri SA had been held a few days ago.
"And I think it's laying the basis for an important dialogue about ensuring that we get the investment in agriculture, that we expand production and employment and that we deal with these significant social challenges," he said.